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Access to external markets is crucial for a small national economy like the Uruguayan one.
For the past years, the economy has slowed down its growth rate and there have emerged several measures oriented to improve income distribution through multiple actions, such as the introduction of a progressive income tax, greater increases to smaller wages, massive inclusion to the Health National Fund or programs from the Ministry of Social Development [1]
Even though these measures have undoubtedly improved life conditions for an important part of the population that was in an emergency situation, they require increasing resources, which has generated a greater tax burden, affecting competitiveness.
In order to resume the acceleration of the national economy, at least relative to international markets, there are several resources that encourage and develop services export, such as Article 220/98, which allows VAT exemption.
According to the figures from the agency Uruguay XXI, services export increased 16% since 2013. That is not surprising, considering that there are highly qualified professionals in our country that are competent in several languages and follow a culture of responsibility and effort.
These features of our human capital are necessary, but not enough, to achieve a successful internationalization. For that reason, we would like to share 3 key components that, when correctly applied, allow to surpass the minimum acceptance bar of international clients. These keys are: quality, human capital and R+D.

1. Quality
In order to export services and find a space to grow in this highly competitive market, it is necessary to know who the work is directed at. Identifying my clients, learning their goals, what value I can generate and how will I do so. Once we identified this, we have to adapt our value proposal, this is, generate a customized product.
In the field of virtual construction, our clients’ goal is generally to reduce costs and increase productivity, without reducing quality. Hence, it is necessary to generate quality management and continued improvement systems in order to be able to ensure the quality level required in their projects, while focusing on their main business.
In Estudio ESE we carry out a quality management system that we call EPS (Estudio ESE Production System) in which deadlines, milestones, roles, responsibilities of each member, analysis strategies, quality control, implementation strategies, communication and exchange means are organized, among other aspects.
2. Human Capital
Today's world demands increasingly capable human resources. Therefore, managing them in a suitable way is a key point. This is possibly the most complex task, at least in our organization.
In Estudio ESE, our primary goal is to design a model of modern work relations, based on trust and cooperation, as well as on maintaining a balance between the different parties. We want to be a team, and for the people that work with us to feel that way. We also want to invest in the professional development of all of our members through training and exchange opportunities.
Additionally, we think it is important to learn to delegate in a smart way, trust the members of the team and detect their different potentialities; to have a clear organization chart where each member understands the structure and functions of the other members; to appreciate efforts made and reward them with different benefits (monetary, free time, projects and tasks variety); as well as generating a consistent corporative culture and a sustainable work environment.

3. I +D

In a fast moving world, with clients’ needs and habits changing all the time, research and development is a decisive competence to access sophisticated markets and it is the base of sustainable growth for a company that aims at services export.
We may ask ourselves how to manage research and development in virtual construction companies. In Estudio ESE we began by creating the innovation manager position, who is in charge of the R+D area and carries out technological surveillance processes, investigation, explorations and pilots. Our goal with this position is to pay attention to new tendencies and to detect trends and improvements that we can implement in our current and future projects.

1. Contributions to an improvement agenda “Uruguay’s competitiveness and development”.


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